It was about this hour last year, the thirteenth of May when Laya’s cries turned incessant. It was a light whimper that never quieted down. Not even when I pet her neck and shoulders the way I always did, the way she liked it. She whimpered and whimpered. I got her another dose of Tramadol wrapped in a torn piece of a Kraft cheese single. We waited. Fifteen minutes, then thirty. She didn’t stop whimpering as she lay on my futon in Heather’s front room. That futon was her bed since she came home with me from the tracks. It was moved to Heather’s house so Laya could be as comfortable as possible in what would be her final few months.

After the Tramadol didn’t work for forty-five minutes, I knew it was time. The tramadol was one of several in a cocktail of pain medications we were giving Laya to ease her struggle with osteosarcoma. We were at the max dosage that hour. It had been a long struggle and I wish I didn’t remember so much of it. It isn’t easy to see your baby in pain. It isn’t easy to hear the sound of the nails of her lame leg scrapping the hardwood floor as she made her way around the house from the kitchen door that opened into the backyard to her favorite futon mattress.

So her cries didn’t stop. I took her out to the backyard and she took her last few sniffs. She hobbled towards the back of the yard and pooped in her favorite lowslung bushes. Then she found a spot near the air conditioner to pee. Then we got in the car. That was her last car ride. She hung her head out of the window like she always did. It was a warm night but the roads were empty. I really wish I didn’t remember so many things from those days.

Then we were at the vet. An era of my life ended in the early hours of May 14th, 2014.